The city of Eugene, Oregon has hired collection law firm Linebarger Goggan Blair & Sampson, based in Austin, Texas, to help collect past due parking fines.
Joe Householder, the media representative for Linebarger, said many of the delinquencies are likely a result of a simple misunderstanding but that the overdue money creates a negative impact on whether cities such as Eugene can fund important services. Linebarger is one the largest government collection agencies in the U.S.
It wasnt immediately clear how much is owed to the city.
The Oregon Department of Justice reports that three formal complaints have been filed against Linebarger and all of them were resolved. The Better Business Bureau gives the firm an A-plus rating.
Cheryl Stone, administrator for Eugenes municipal court, said Oregon issues a list of approved collection agencies to which municipalities should sell their outstanding accounts receivable. Stone noted that if a vehicle is sold and the title not transferred in a timely manner with the Department of Motor Vehicles - either by the buyer or seller - its possible for someone to get a parking ticket they do not owe. The city, she added, is prepared to work with anyone incorrectly targeted. Heidi Hubbard, a representative with Eugene's parking department, said it is possible to receive a parking citation even years after the sale of the car due to discrepancies in the citys records. The first time someone gets a ticket, she says, the city records the vehicle owners information. But when the ownership of the vehicle changes, the city is left with outdated information.